Oct 25, 2020
Gilead
Posted by Marilynne Robinson

Twenty four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America s heart Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson s beautiful, spare, and spirituTwenty four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America s heart Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson s beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order Slate In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.

  • Title: Gilead
  • Author: Marilynne Robinson
  • ISBN: 9780312424404
  • Page: 376
  • Format: Paperback
  • Gilead Twenty four years after her first novel Housekeeping Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century a story about fathers and sons

    Greg

    It often feels as if the contemporary literary scene has internalized Anna Karenina s dictum on the nature of happiness that it is not idiosyncratic, with the implication that it is not worth the kind of careful attention that literature applies to its subjects We need look no further than our own lives to recognize the problem we ll encounter if we preoccupy ourselves with the Tolstoyan unhappy family at the expense of the happy ones Asked about our defining or most enlightening moments, most o [...]


    Jessica

    This book is amazing I can t believe those frikkin twits didn t give Marilynne Robinson the Pulitzer for this oh wait, they did Well, I can t believe they didn t give her two Seriously, you are probably thinking, I ve heard this book takes the form of an elderly, angina stricken preacher in Iowa s long, Lord laden letter to his young son about how beautiful the world is I m sure it s all very nice for some people, but I am way too big of a jerk to enjoy something like that Well, let me tell you [...]


    William1

    This novel reminds me with its beautifully spare prose and the bleak stoicism of its characters of three books Per Petterson s Out Stealing Horses, Willa Cather s My ntonia and Martin Amis s House of Meetings This is not meant as a statement of influence, but simply one of kinship The writing in all of these novels is conversational in tone and beautifully compressed, which is enormously hard to do, though it appears easy Gilead is the story of a Protestant pastor, the Reverent Ames, who, in the [...]


    Elyse

    Utterly absorbingjust finished it Unbearably moving At the beginning I fantasized such a letter from my own father As a child I use to look up at the sky and wonder where he was and yes talk to him and imagine him talking to me There are sentences that I read several times the ones I thought about when walking between reading sessions I saw a full moon rising just as the sun was going down Each of them standing on its edge, with the most wonderful light between them It seemed as if you could tou [...]


    Michael Finocchiaro

    A beautiful book of great wisdom and tenderness Melancholy, but hopeful It well deserved the Pulitzer for Fiction in 2005, and surprisingly Marilynne s second book written 24 years after her first, Housekeeping which I have also reviewed here on GR In Gilead, Iowa, Rev John Ames is a 76yo preacher married to a much younger woman with whom he has a 7yo son The time is the 50s and Rev writes this book to his son regretting that he will soon be dead while his son is still a child, so he wanted to l [...]


    Jason

    My 4 year old son is going to diemetime in the future, like me wishfully long after me and we ll have no time to talk We should hopefully grow old together, but we ll grow old together as men Yes, we ll always be father and son, but for the most part when we talk and share, he will be a man What should I tell him now, as a boy He s too young to remember, but I have so many things I want to say, to teach, to protect There are things I want to tell him that are important now, that are things he w [...]


    J

    This is not a review I wrote something that aspired to be a review but fell short In the end all you really need to know is that I loved it I finished it standing in line at the grocery with tears running down my face because it was that beautiful It s the ruminations of a man at the end of his life, it s confession, it s revelation, it s a parable in a parable It s hopeful Read it.I found this quote written on a scrap of something in my purse I know than I know and must learn it from myself.


    brian

    paul schrader called his book on the films of bresson, ozu, and dreyer transcendental style in film sorry, mr schrader, for reducing your book and theory to a one liner, but the transcendental style goes something like this the intentional evenness and flatness both visually and dramatically of these films work to create a lifting or revelation at the end, such as one may receive after hours of intense prayer, study, or meditation as much as a book can fit within this category, i think Gilead do [...]


    Dolors

    Old reverend John Ames writes a long farewell letter to his seven year old son after he is informed of a cardiovascular problem that will eventually take his life What starts as a chronicle of his childhood memories and the life stories of his father and grandfather, also pastors, and the ongoing tensions between them about the use of religion to serve their ideals, progressively becomes an introspective, fragmented confession where the old man reveals his soul to the reader, but mostly, to hims [...]


    Kj

    Dear Son The Too Little Too Late Dilemma of Marilynne Robinson s Gilead It s deceptively tempting to approach a book like Marilynne Robinson s Gilead, and see only the main character s theological musings After all, in a novel about an old man reminiscing about faith and family, there s a plethora of weighty spiritual content everything from careful exegesis of Genesis 22 to references to Karl Barth s Epistle to the Romans Needless to say, this is no simple I remember when fable of love and loss [...]


    Meredith Holley (Sparrow)

    I believe the audio of this book is read by Santa Claus, so that is nice Not nice enough for me to finish it, though I tried the printed copy and the audio, and while I made it slightly farther in the audio, I just can t do it I think listening to this in the car creates a severe hazard because of the imminent danger of me falling asleep Having read Olive Kitteridge and this, I ve come to the conclusion that the Pulitzer committee is looking for books about bumbling old people whose kids may or [...]


    Chaybyrd

    I am devastated by how much I despised this novel It was one of the most uninspired stories about Christianity, forgiveness and familial bonds I have ever read I can t help but wonder if this is the first plotless novel to win a Pulitzer I ll be on the look out The framework of the story is a dying minister writing in his diary presumably for his now 7 year old son to read after his death The first person father writing to his son narrative was horrid I felt like the entire book was one run on s [...]


    Fabian

    Minister John Ames insistence on leading a virtuous life becomes a pain in the neck His personal and circular logic goes nowhere, and his daily ministrations, well, you really couldn t give less a care about And this is truly awful folks These are v deep thoughts from father to son, directly from the death bed our main thought through this all becomes Wow, dude s taking his awful sweet ass time to die.


    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Gilead Gilead 1 , Marilynne Robinson 2011 1980 2004 2005 2012 2008 156 123 2010 20


    Violet wells

    John Ames is a pastor in the forsaken town of Gilead Ames, after losing his first wife and child to a difficult labour, has remarried late in life to a much younger woman and so at the ripe old age of seventy six has a very young son who he realises he will not see grow to manhood So at the end of his life he is writing what he believes to be a kind of epistle to the beauty of God s world for his young son He is attempting to bestow grace on his son He gives him advice I would advise you against [...]


    Lynne King

    I am so disappointed with this book Having said that, I agree with all the reviews written about this highly acclaimed work stating, for example, that Gilead is a beautiful work demanding, grave and lucid Robinson s words have a spiritual force that s very rare in contemporary fiction The New York Times Book Review.So serenely beautiful, and written in a prose so gravely measured and thoughtful, that one feels touched with grace just to read it A triumph of tone and imagination and a spiritual j [...]


    Sara

    John Ames is old and he is dying His wife is much younger than he is and he has a six year old son that he has no chance of seeing grown In response, he begins a journal that reads like a long letter to be read someday in the future by his son Ames is a preacher, and much of what he discusses is couched in terms of his religion and his beliefs, but what he is facing and has faced in life is so universal that even an atheist might relate As Ames details the closing days of his life, we see the wa [...]


    Paula

    Ponderous That s Gilead in a word It s supposed to be the slow, insightful reflections of an old preacher writing a letter about his life to his son Because, you see, the preacher is going to die soon Actually, most of the book is so slow you feel like he s dying right then and there Or at least, you wish he would drop dead, because then the book would be over Keeling over might even be an improvement, since then something would happen.My guess is that after twenty years of not writing, Robinson [...]


    Sandi

    Forget your theology books and forget your Christian Fiction If you really want to get inside the head of someone with a deep, abiding faith in God, you must read Gilead Through the story of Rev John Ames, Marilynne Robinson eloquently expresses so many of the ideas I have had about Christianity and state some difficult theological concepts in easy to understand words And, she does it without ever getting cheesy or preachy Reading this book is like floating in a pool on a warm summer day It s dr [...]


    Maxwell

    It s not often that I find a book that can hold my attention enough to read it in one day Gilead is a book that I m conflicted over having read so speedily, as I couldn t stop reading, while at the same time wanted to savor and absorb slowly every thought and prayer and beautiful moment it held.I understand the praise for this book And I understand when people say that in fifty or one hundred years people will still be reading this book and finding something deeply human in it Gilead is a book [...]


    Lisa

    The only positive thing I can say about this book is that it is well written, from a formal standpoint I hated the main character, an old whiny preacher who is writing down the story of his life for his young son This man incarnates everything I despise about religious blindness and righteousness Even when the preacher tries to be honest, he always assumes that his absolute truth and morality can t be touched He ultimately knows everything best, even though he might have made mistakes sometimes, [...]


    Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

    Read a book that won the Pulitzer Prize.3.5 stars rounded upOk ya ll, this review is gonna get personal It s the only review I think I can write right now, and this book gives me the perfect platform to do it If you have a problem with personal reviews, don t read it I don t give a damn.There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient.This was my book club s selection for May I ve kind of been in a reading slump the past few months and just haven t been readi [...]


    David

    First of all, I have some disclaiming to do I do not believe in God, not even in the most hazy, nondenominational sense of an impersonal force that vouchsafes existence I was raised Catholic halfheartedly by which I mean that I was sent to Catholic school, but my parents were never demonstratively or actively Catholic They only rarely attended church precipitated, I think, by a sense of lapsed duty , they never prayed, to my knowledge, and they mostly refrained from any mention of gods or spirit [...]


    مرجان محمدی

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    Matthew Quann

    it seems to me now that what you must see here is just an old man struggling with the difficulty of understanding what it is he s struggling with Gilead pg.202I believe one of the most underappreciated reading venues is the waiting room While sitting in an auto body waiting room, sipping on some mediocre complimentary coffee, and occasionally being interrupted by newcomers to the room, I read most of Marilynne Robinson s Gilead The seat was pretty uncomfortable, there was an obnoxious reality TV [...]


    Inder

    Yes, I have now read this THREE times That should really speak for itself.___________________________12 1 07 I ve been thinking and thinking about this book, so I find myself coming back to this review.The basic plot such as it is this is a character driven book in the most basic sense An old preacher finds out that he is dying, and writes a journal memoir to his seven year old son There are a couple of breathtaking scenes in the book, that have stuck with me The narrator remembers a time in his [...]


    Helene Jeppesen

    Gilead is one long letter from a father to his son The father, John, is an old reverend approaching death His son is only 7 years old as the letter is written, and therefore the letter becomes a writing of John s thoughts and worries that he feels like he needs to pass on to his son before he dies For some parts, this letter was really touching It is written in a non chronological way that puzzles you, and it comes with beautiful and heartfelt anecdotes on John s life, doubts, and worries when i [...]


    Duane

    What you have here is a 76 year old minister from Iowa, writing a journal, or long letter, to his 7 year old son Rev Ames is dying, so he s afraid his son won t remember him, thus the letter The Rev comes from a long line of preachers, so the novel is religious in nature, but not overly so It s really a story about family and family relationships, and time There were some things I didn t like, some loose ends that are probably addressed in the sequels But the writing is so good that it carries t [...]


    Ron Charles

    There is a balm in Gilead, and I hope many people find it For a country dazzled by literary and military pyrotechnics, this quiet new novel from Marilynne Robinson couldn t be less compatible with the times or essential.Her narrator is a 77 year old pastor in Gilead, Iowa, who s been told he has only a few months to live That might sound depressing or boring, but from Robinson s pen, these pages flow with the intensity of a prayer, both anguished and assured The whole novel is a letter, an expe [...]


    Helle

    Calvin says somewhere that each of us is an actor on a stage and God is the audience.Gilead is a meditation on life, faith and fatherhood It is the goodbye letter from a father to a son a father who is 77 and whose son is only seven and the father s desire to leave some kind of legacy for his young son because he knows he won t be there to see him grow up Looking back on his life, the Reverend John Ames remembers incidents small and big which have constituted his life He reminisces about regrets [...]



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